My God is the living God,
God of the impertinent exile.
An outcast who carved me
into an outcast carved
Let me tell you how
white hands kilned me
in the moonless middle
We three warriors
were called forth
to be, forever, enemies.
When I got old enough
I asked my mother,
to her surprise,
Our Box Henry hid away.
John Berryman's Ol' Henry sulked.
I see his point—he was trying to put one over.
when your man comes home from prison,
when he comes back like the wound
and you are the stitch,
Did a slave song at a master's bidding
mark Tom while asleep in Charity's womb?
The whole plantation would be called to sing
They said I wasn't smooth enough
to beat their sharp machine.
That my style was obsolete,
Hear how sky opens its maw to swallow
Earth? To claim each blade and being and rock
with its spit? Become your own full sky. Own